Author Archives: Brian Chaney

MultiLing in the News: Adam Bigelow Unlocks the Peculiarities of Filing Patents in Asia

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The March 20, 2014 issue of IPPro Life Sciences includes an article on unique patent filing challenges in China, Japan and Korea by Adam Bigelow, MultiLing regional director for Asia. Unlocking the Peculiarities highlights nuances to consider when filing patents in the different northeast Asian jurisdictions.

AdamBigelowAdam writes: “Filing in these countries comes with a unique set of challenges, from learning new laws and filing processes, to effectively searching patent databases in local ideographic languages, to translating to and from these languages. According to a recent study by the Steinbeis Transfer Institute of Stuttgart, Germany, patent errors arise most frequently with Asian languages.”

For example, did you realize that a Japanese patent translation can be made in four different alphabet character sets, and choosing one over another can result in different interpretations?

Read Adam’s full article for all the details about filing in China, Japan and Korea, and let us know what else you would add to the list.

MultiLing in the News: Todd Rapier Shares How to Stretch Your Patent Budget

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While March is a little early to plan annual budgets if your fiscal year matches the calendar year, it’s never too early — or too late — to gain some insights on how budgets affect the management of your corporate IP. Todd Rapier, executive vice president of worldwide sales at MultiLing, offers a tutorial for managing an IP budget at IP Watchdog. A Business Tutorial: Four Ways to Stretch Your Patent Budget is aimed at business managers, who may not be familiar with the intellectual property services their organizations invest in and the impact that it has on their business.

todd rapier“For those more focused on your company’s business outlook, with intellectual property (IP) being one of many departments under your umbrella, learning some basics on the critical – and not so critical – components of an IP budget can be extremely helpful as you work with your IP managers to make the most of what they have,” wrote Todd.

Todd outlined four practices that will help managers make the most of any IP budget:

1. Track potential patents and patent applications currently in prosecution – Periodically reviewing your in-progress patent portfolio with a substantive eye toward whether the assets continue to be worth pursuing is very important.

2. Work with the IP Managers to Prioritize Future Patent Applications – Enumerating exactly what the patent’s projected revenue is to the company prevents superfluous patents from being filed.

3. Ensure quality applications from the start with outsourcing partners that follow best practices – Providers, like MultiLing, that rely on a streamlined patent translation services model can break down translation silos and not only produce high quality translations, but also reduce total cost of patent ownership.

4. Communicate, Communicate, Communicate – A lack of communication can be extremely costly, especially if the marketing team announces a new technology before a patent application is filed in the United States or in countries in which protection is critical. In many countries, the inventor will have lost the right for protection completely.

Access the full article with all the insights at the MultiLing news room.

Lyle Ball Presents at China IP & Innovation Summit

MultiLing COO Lyle Ball presented on how to reduce risk in your IP portfolio with streamlined patent translation services at the China Intellectual Property & Innovation Summit in Hangzhou, China. Additionally, as a sponsor of the event, Lyle was able to share opening remarks, conduct a general session, introduce speakers and a panel discussion,  providing exposure of MultiLing’s expertise and leadership in patent translation services to more than 80 leading companies in a variety of industries.

Other presenters included IP experts from global enterprises such as Philips, Huawei, ZTE, IBM, Samsung, Bayer, Hisense, Alibaba and Baidu.

Lyle Ball

Lyle’s main presentation focused on risks that are inherent in foreign patent filings and how a streamlined model for the foreign patent filing process, including translation, can help manage a company’s risk for office actions, cost of patent ownership and litigation.

Here are a few of the key points from Lyle’s presentation that highlight how MultiLing’s best practices can help reduce the risk in your IP portfolio:

People. We believe that translators need to have science and engineering expertise along with linguistics. While word choice and word order are highly important, linguistics cannot solve an engineering problem. The right translators produce quality documents that lead to clarity and hold up through prosecution. They reduce office actions and additional costs down the road. MultiLing’s network of translators is comprised of native-speaking, in-country experts, more than half of whom hold advanced degrees in scientific fields relevant to each client.

Process. The traditional flat-fan model of patent translation services relies on trust and old networks. It is inherently broken. No matter how good of a translator you plug into the model, the quality of the translation is limited by the inability to collaborate and communicate. By implementing a streamlined model, one client was able to improve consistency and transparency to the point that they eliminated office actions related to translation quality or clarity and reduced time to grant by six months. Multiple patents were granted without a single rejection. The turnaround time was shorter and the costs were less. How much would you give to improve time to grant by six months? How would that affect your product development cycle?

Technology. Technology-aided human translation is worth the investment. The same client mentioned in the paragraph above has a translation database of 2 million words and 5,200 concepts. They use 12 translators full-time. Technologies such as translation memory and terminology management not only contribute to the speed of translation, but also provide for consistency and value. In addition, technology to manage translation projects improves transparency for the client, and manages timelines and resources.

According to research by Dr. Alexander Wurzer, director of the Steinbeis Institute for IP Management, the consequences of an incorrect translation include office actions (40%) that can be fixed but are time consuming and expensive; a reduced scope of protection (20%) that is not fixable post-grant; unclear situations that leave you dependent on a judge’s decision; and invalidation. Having an intellectual property services provider that specializes in a streamlined process with expert translators and advanced technology is the best way to manage your risk.

About China Intellectual Property & Innovation Summit 2014 (CIPIS2014)

In recent years China has emerged as a global player in intellectual property and became the world’s top patent filer in 2011. This rapid growth prompted the launch of CIPIS2014 on March 13-14 in Hangzhou, China. The conference gathered international officials, leading lawyers and IP managers to share the knowledge and tools necessary to monetize IP globally without compromising protection. The purpose of the conference was to exchange opinions on policies for managing intellectual property services at multinational corporations, review new patent laws and IP policies in the United States and Europe, and share the latest interpretations on IP business from SIPO and other government offices in China.

MultiLing in the News: Three Things You Need To Know About Taking Your Brand Global

MultiLing’s home in the Utah valley of the Wasatch Mountains is a hotbed of entrepreneurial growth. In fact, the latest issue of a regional business magazine, Utah Valley BusinessQ, highlights six local startups that have appeared on ABC’s hit show Shark Tank to attract investors to their companies.

Randy Scott is VP of marketing at MultiLing

It’s perfect timing for MultiLing to share what companies need to remember as they set their sites on growth and even going global. Randy Scott, vice president of marketing, provides three tips to neighboring Utah Valley businesses on how not to get lost in translation.

Read the full article in the Spring 2014 issue of Utah Valley BusinessQ here.

First, while you are still defining your brand, make sure that the English brand, tagline, logo, slogans and product names are appropriate in any language. This way you can have a consistent brand in every country without fear of offending any audience.

global brandSecond, translate meaning rather than words. Many taglines use a play on words that does not translate into other languages. Understand your core brand and communicate that, while localizing words and products to appeal to regional audiences.

Third, translate the look and feel, as well as the text. Colors and white space are used differently in different cultures and an understanding of those meanings can enhance or detract from your brand.

IP News Roundup

A summary of IP and patent news around the world.

US No. 1 in Patent Filings at the European Patent Office

Patent filings at the European Patent Office (EPO) hit a new record in 2013, with applications coming from the United States growing by 2.8% (2012: +5.1%). Last year U.S. companies deposited 64,967, or 24.5%, of all European patent filings (2012: 63,198), which confirms the United States as the No. 1 among all countries at the EPO, ahead of Japan (52,437; +1.2%) and Germany (32,022, -5.4%). It is the highest number of patents ever filed by U.S. companies within one year at the EPO. Read more…

If You Can’t Beat Them Join Them: Getty’s Vast Collection of Pictures Now Free 

Faced with insurmountable piracy of its product, one of the world’s foremost image repositories is trying a radical new way to convert pirates into licensees. Getty Images recently launched a new program that allows anyone to embed a wide variety of the stock photo agency’s images into their websites for the low, low price of absolutely free. Read more… 

Francis Gurry Nominated for Second Term as WIPO Director General

The Coordination Committee of the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) nominated by consensus Mr. Francis Gurry for a second term as director general of WIPO. The WIPO General Assembly will meet in an extraordinary session on May 8-9, 2014 to confirm the nomination. Read more…

California Man Guilty of Stealing DuPont Trade Secrets

The convictions of Liew and an ex-DuPont engineer are a victory for the U.S. Justice Department, which has charged about 20 people in recent years with stealing U.S. technology for China. The Obama administration has said Chinese spy agencies are involved in a far-reaching industrial espionage campaign targeting biotechnology, telecommunications, clean energy and nanotechnology industries. This case marks the first federal jury conviction on charges brought under the Economic Espionage Act of 1996, federal prosecutors said. Read more…

Hollywood Patents: Inventions from 12 Celebrity Inventors

With all the hype about the Academy Awards we thought it might be interesting to see just how many Hollywood celebrities were inventors. Below is our list of the most interesting inventions from a number of well-known actors and directors. Read more…

Interesting IP: Colorado Pot Shops Keep Mum About Their Banks’ Identities

Owners of marijuana shops in Colorado that have bank accounts are refusing to share the names of those institutions with competitors, saying such information constitutes a trade secret, the Denver Post reported. This is leaving many recreational marijuana shops unable to conduct anything but an all-cash business, according to the newspaper. While recent changes in federal guidelines have made it slightly easier for banks to do business with marijuana-oriented businesses, many are still leery of these types of customers or the unwanted publicity they might bring, the Post said. Read more…

NEWS: MultiLing Hires Chief Financial Officer

New CFO David Urry to Support MultiLing’s Strong Growth and Continued Global Expansion in IP Translation Services 

urryMultiLing today announced the appointment of David Urry as the company’s chief financial officer. Urry, who spent the last 13 years as the CFO of Aetna Insurance Company subsidiary Medicity, Inc., will drive MultiLing’s financial strategy to manage the notable growth of its IP translation services worldwide. Read the full press releasehere.

“With the increasing demand for MultiLing’s IP translation services over the past few years and the growth capital received from Frontier Capital this past summer, Urry will help us strategically manage our financial resources for continued growth initiatives,” said Michael Sneddon, president and CEO, MultiLing. “Urry’s vast global experience across a wide spectrum of companies – from start-ups to mid-range to Fortune 100 firms – gives him a unique business perspective that will benefit both MultiLing and our Global 500 clients as we provide the best IP translation services possible.”

While at Medicity, Urry led the development of financial, legal, risk management and administrative infrastructure to provide disciplined control and accountability during rapid company growth. In 2010, he helped the company through a $500 million acquisition by Aetna based on a solid record of growth and financial performance. Post-merger, he successfully managed the integration of Medicity’s healthcare IT business with Aetna’s processes and departments.

Before joining Medicity in 2000, Urry spent 10 years at American Airlines, in successive positions of responsibility. As a director, he developed accounting procedures for both American and Canadian Airlines. Earlier in his career, Urry worked with Hewlett Packard as a financial analyst in the United States and as a marketing engineer in Japan after the startup venture he joined was acquired by HP. Urry received his bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering from the University of Utah and his master’s of business administration from the Wharton School of Business.

MultiLing’s Worldwide Growth Continues

MultiLing has global offices in seven countries – China, Germany, Italy, Japan, South Korea, Peru and the United States – with another international office planned to open in the next quarter. The growth results from significant management, operational and sales improvements implemented in the past two years during a global market increase in the number of U.S., European and Asian enterprises spending millions of dollars per year on patent translations despite the global economic downturn. In fact, according to the World Intellectual Property Organization, the industry is seeing the strongest growth in global patent filings in 18 years.

IP Outsourcing Trends: Get To Know Your Partner

Todd Rapier, MultiLing, and Tim Troy, Dow Corning, participate on a panel about outsourcing IP services.

Todd Rapier, MultiLing EVP of worldwide sales, participated on a panel to discuss EmergingTrends and Considerations in IP Outsourcing at the Global IP Outsourcing Conference and Exhibition in San Francisco, Feb. 17-18. Tim Troy, senior counsel at Dow Corning and MultiLing client, also participated on the panel.

The session was designed to give conference attendees practical insights into how the world’s leading companies are tackling current legal and commercial IP outsourcing trends and challenges. The $3 billion IP outsourcing industry is growing exponentially as a result of European and U.S. patent reform, coupled with an increase in patent applications globally.

Large law firms and legal departments outsource much of their patent prosecution processes already, including prior art searches, patent illustrations, patent proofreading, patent drafting, patent docketing support and MultiLing’s expertise: patent translation.

“Not one service fits all,” said Rapier. “Legal teams and law firms need to find who the best vendor is for the service that is needed, rather than looking at how many services a vendor has to offer.”

According to Troy, outsourcing cannot only be cost effective, but also can help streamline processes and provide consistent prosecution. He believes quality from outsourcing partners should be a given and must be there, but also shared that adding transparency to the process allows outsourcing partners to assist their clients in areas such as budget compliance and forecasting. Troy remarked that organizations should be open to ideas from vendors and should take the time to ask for and consider their ideas for improving the process – a comment that reflects the great partnering relationship he feels they have with MultiLing.

Other best practices for working with vendors, according to Rapier: Engage in two-way communication and face time is an absolute must.

The conference gathered legal process outsourcing (LPO) experts, IP lawyers from in-house and private practice, and government representatives to discuss issues and opportunities related to how LPOs can help navigate the patent reform storm. LPOs have an opportunity to chart a course for growth and establish a niche in the IP outsourcing market.

Fast Track to Globalization: Becoming a Key Provider to Top Global Firms

MultiLing President and CEO Michael Sneddon authored a business article that first appeared on Business 2 Community yesterday. Titled Fast Track to Globalization: Becoming a Key Provider to Top Global Firms, the article highlights Sneddon’s leadership in growing MultiLing into a top IP translation services company around the world.

Michael Sneddon, CEO of MultiLing Corp.

“If you’re lucky enough to already be working with a multinational enterprise, your path to global success will be more clearly marked,” writes Sneddon. “If not, make obtaining a strong partnership with a multinational enterprise a top priority before even considering the global step.

“Once you’re on board with a multinational enterprise, with the goal of taking your own business global, your research really begins.  Consider some lessons we learned from our partnerships with multinational enterprises.”

Sneddon outlines three considerations for companies planning their global expansion:

  1. Make strategic decisions about where to open your international offices. Consider what makes most sense for your clients and  your business.
  2. Think locally in terms of new cultures, regulations and practices.
  3. Continue to provide the best quality work, so you will be trusted to do even more.

“Ultimately, working with a global enterprise will give you the relationships and experience your company needs to quickly grow into a global business yourself.  While the challenges of running a global business are different for each company – and in each country – we have found that it gets easier each time we open a new office, and should likewise become easier for your business as well,” concluded Sneddon.


INFOGRAPHIC: Protecting Intellectual Property

Have you ever stopped to think about what it is that all foreign patent filings have in common?

The answer is translation.

ipfrontlinelogoBest practices in the translation process can have a major effect on the overall patent filing and prosecution process. The right people, process and technology in IP services will protect your IP and IP budget with fewer office actions, faster time to grant and reduced risk of invalidation. This infographic that was just published inIPFrontline sums it all up.

Is “Good Enough” an Option for Translation Quality?


Jeremy Coombs, senior vice president of operations at MultiLing, shares new ideas on how to measure translation quality in a contributed column to IP Frontline. This leading IP portal helps the IP community share information and also provides original reporting on IP news each day.

Read the complete article from Coombs here

Jeremy Coombs, MultiLing

In his article, Coombs presents a quality definition developed by Dr. Alan K Melby of Brigham Young University’s Translation Research Group, through his work with the American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM) and International Organization for Standardization  (ISO) specifications. His definition addresses all the facets of the process that influence our perception of quality, such as client requirements, necessary accuracy and fluency, and understanding of the end-user’s needs.

Melby’s definition of quality reads:

A quality translation (1) demonstrates required accuracy and fluency (2) for the audience and purpose and (3) complies with all other negotiated specifications, taking into account end-user needs.

Coombs shares a discussion where translators and editors were asked to define quality. “Unsurprisingly, their answers followed with the expected ‘correct grammar,’ ‘correct terminology,’ ‘good formatting,’ etc. as would be dictated for the standards of their language. Thus a prescriptive approach to defining translation quality is fairly direct.

“Now, for the sake of argument, what if the requestor of the translation specifically requires a level of translation that will certainly contain errors or inconsistencies? For example, Daniel is an inventor of a product and would like to know if a similar product in another market exists already. If he finds a prior patent or some other article in another language, he might need a translation that allows him to know the content. This is commonly referred to as a ‘gist’ translation.

“For the sake of cost and time, the translator would most likely be instructed to translate at a rapid rate and would probably skip edit and revision. Daniel would receive a rough, first pass translation of the document.  Would this document adhere to all grammar rules, be typo free and perfectly consistent with established terminology? Most likely not. However, would this translation fill his requirements of cost, speed and legibility? Yes. So where on the scale of Quality does this translation fall? Is it poor quality because it fails to meet certain prescriptive rules which constitute good language? Is it medium quality, not perfect but fulfilling the requirements?”

Coombs argues that by adopting Melby’s definition of quality, we’re able to capture the intent and requirements of the requestor considering the translation’s end-user. Thus, any translation that meets the scope of the work and best serves both the requestor and the end-user can, and should, be considered a quality translation.

In fact, looking back at Daniel’s example above and applying this definition, the translation neither is low quality (due to potential errors) nor is it even medium quality. As it meets all of the needs of the requestor, it should be considered high quality.

The beauty of Dr. Melby’s definition is the fact that it embraces the subjectivity of language, combines it with the prescriptive ideas of accuracy and fluency, and wraps it all up in a framework based on the scope as agreed upon between the requestor and the translator.